On 7 maj 2007, at 04.39, Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:

> Oddly enough, in about a gazillion crossings of the US/Canada  
> border...
> as a resident of first one and then the other...I only had problems on
> two or three occasions!

I suspect more problems are at the air terminals. I've had more  
attitude there than at US/Canadian border crossings, but my  
statistical sample is greater for the former as well.

During one visit /from/ Canada to the U.S. (holding an EU passport  
eligible for Visa Waiver) they decided we couldn't cross their  
magical border (U.S. side) without paying some special fee that seems  
only to be in force at Niagra Falls crossing (maybe this is c 10  
years ago).  Then when we wouldn't pay it we were "refused entry" to  
the U.S.   This was a concern but my friend (who I was with) was  
visiting with me his brother who just happened to be a senior embassy  
official and was able to check that this was a bit of B.S. and that  
nothing untoward was on our passport or file.  He also said the U.S.  
tried it on even with him once when travelling with his passport  
until he very carefully pointed out that paragraph x.x.x. sub  
paragraph Y of some regulation was in force and kindly shut up and do  
his job properly or he would raise the issue.   He got tired of being  
polite and having a border guard act like John Wayne.

I've also had inconsistent advice from border guards when going up  
via MSP to Winnipeg and further north in Canada (at MSP) and then  
told the advice given on the return routing at MSP was wrong and I  
should do Y.

But there are certainly good eggs and bad eggs in every line of  
business.  Maybe ARSC is not the best place to discuss that though !

Mind you, once in Germany flying back from Germany to the UK, I had a  
German customs guy try to take apart my very early, very heavy, very  
large "GSM" mobile telephone, giving it back to me in bits to run to  
the gate as they were threatening dire things to my luggage (we will  
close the door and leave your luggage on the runway) (sic).   I had  
arrived in good time, had bought some duty free (that dates it for  
intra EU travel, maybe c 1993?) and I am sure everyone on board  
thought I was late due to bottle shopping when they heard the clinks  
as I run what seemed like a marathon, juggling briefcase, phone bits  
and two bags of bottles.

And my mother says I have a nice, honest face !


Darren Ingram (darren at /
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consultancy services.
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